Preseason State TOP 50 (Part 2)

Players from No. 26 Clayton Valley of Concord (left), including returning QB Jake Kern, celebrate after 2019 CIF D2-A state final. At right, it’s easy to find head coach Sean Doyle in middle of players at Cathedral Catholic of San Diego in 2016 when Dons won CIF D1-AA SoCal title. Photos: Mark Tennis & Thomas Gutierrez.

With the first 25 teams in our spring 2021 preseason state football rankings appearing in Part 1, here are the next 25 teams in order plus 20 more teams listed on the bubble. This group is led by 2019 CIF D2-A state champ Clayton Valley of Concord, includes 2019 CIF D2-AA state champ Corona del Mar of Newport Beach plus several teams that can move way up in next week’s first regular season rankings by winning in big games to open their short seasons.




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(Teams listed with 2019 season record)
(*Record does not include forfeit wins or losses)
(First games could be added/changed quickly due to reporting errors & teams having to cancel with a positive COVID-19 test)
(Matchups also only added to provide home & away designations and not sites of any games)

26. Clayton Valley (Concord) 10-5
First Game: Sat. March 13 vs. Inderkum (Sacramento).
It’s not coming back from winning the CIF D2-A state title from 2019 that helps the Ugly Eagles that much for this ranking. It’s more the schedule they are playing this spring, which includes matchups vs. De La Salle and Monterey Trail. The offense has returning QB Jake Kern and RB Omari Taylor while the defense has a couple of linebacking standouts in Lukas Linkhart and Dylan Seeley.

27. Cathedral Catholic (San Diego) 8-3
First Game: Fri. March 12 vs. Torrey Pines (San Diego).
It’s a young but very talented squad under head coach Sean Doyle and the schedule should provide the Dons with the opportunity to prove they’re the best this spring in the CIF San Diego Section. Junior QB Charlie Mirer, junior WR Rex Haynes and junior DL Jaxson Moi are all promising players looking to build on their resumes.

Bryun Parham was one of the leading defenders last season at Long Beach Poly. Photo:

28. Long Beach Poly (Long Beach) 8-4
First Game: Fri. March 12 vs. Serra (Gardena).
Shea Kuykendall is back to lead the Jackrabbits from the quarterback position. Head coach Stephen Barbee also will have two returning defensive leaders in LB Bryun Parham (San Jose State) and DL Jacob Tuioti (Army). If Poly wins its first game, it will likely run the table for the rest of the spring. With a loss, and considering the weakness of the rest of the schedule, it’ll be hard for the Jackrabbits to move back up.

29. Corona del Mar (Newport Beach) 16-0
First Game: Fri. March 19 at Los Alamitos.
Where to put a team that won the 2019 CIF D2-AA state title over San Mateo Serra but lost the bulk of its lineup to graduation, including record-breaking QB Ethan Garbers and record-breaking WR John Humphreys, was one of the tougher calls for these rankings. There are some top players back, such as OL Thomas Bouda and DB Tommy Griffin, plus the schedule against Sunset League competition is very good as well.

30. St. Augustine (San Diego) 8-3
First Game: Fri. March 12 vs. Helix (La Mesa).
Saints of course are going to play their rivals from Cathedral Catholic this spring and are opening up with a chance to shake things up by playing Helix. Senior QB Richard Colmenero did some impressive things while splitting time with a senior in the fall of 2019 and should be among the top QBs in the San Diego Section. St. Aug’s defensive line also should be impressive with junior Gracen Halton along with senior 280-pound Christian Gaeta.

31. St. Mary’s (Stockton) 6-5
First Game: Sat. March 13 at De La Salle (Concord).
Preseason first team all-state receiver Jadyn Marshall is just a junior and is one of several promising players for the Rams, who also have outstanding senior leadership from such players as defensive back Nick Murray. Sure, they’ll probably have a tough time vs. DLS, but if they win the rest of their games (including the one at the end vs. Lincoln of Stockton) then that would be an impressive spring season for them and worthy of a top ranking.

32. Santa Margarita (Rancho SM) 3-8
First Game: Sat. March 20 at St. John Bosco (Bellflower).
We didn’t go quite as much for the Eagles as the Orange County Register (which is starting them fourth behind only Mater Dei, Servite and Mission Viejo), but they’ve got some promising players (led by Cal-bound DE Derek Wilkins) and it wouldn’t be a shock if they were fourth in the Trinity League this spring. It’s just harder for us to put a 3-8 team closer or inside the top 25 to start the following season unless Tom Brady Jr. and Najee Harris Jr. are transferring in.

33. JSerra (San Juan Capistrano) 6-5
First Game: Fri. March 19 vs. Mater Dei (Santa Ana).
Transfer losses for the Lions were heavy, but they have a solid program under head coach Pat Harlow. The consensus is that they will be sixth out of six in the Trinity League for this spring, but they were 11th in our final state rankings in 2019 and obviously shouldn’t be dropping that far. OL Mason Murphy (USC) was listed as back from the most recent info we had and another top returnee is LB Jaden Genova.

Haden Mann is the QB in charge for state-ranked Liberty of Bakersfield. Photo:

34. Cardinal Newman (Santa Rosa) 14-1
First Game: Fri. March 19 vs Windsor.
A new QB will have to step up, but the rest of the Cardinals’ roster coming into a season is as stacked as ever. WR Tsion Nunnally (Washington State) is the headline returnee, but others including Mitch Russell (FB/LB) can get it done as well. Cardinal Newman’s issue, just like Marin Catholic of Kentfield, is scheduling. After the first game, the rest of the spring as of this writing was very much up in the air.

35. Liberty (Bakersfield) 10-2
First Game: Fri. March 26 vs. Ridgeview (Bakersfield).
The Patriots are starting out at No. 2 for CIF Central Section, but it will be hard for them to move up to No. 1 since if Central of Fresno loses it would be to another Tri-County Athletic Conference foe that probably would jump ahead. Liberty is playing a spring schedule of self-contained opponents from the Kern Unified High School District so it’s not as strong of a schedule as other ranked teams. Senior QB Haden Mann tops the returnees with almost 2,000 combined yards from 2019 and 20 TDs. There’s also San Diego State-bound LB Brady Anderson along with promising junior DB Jason Oliver.

36. Notre Dame (Sherman Oaks) 6-5
First Game: Sat. March 13 at Loyola (Los Angeles).
The debut of new head coach Joe McNab after the retirement of legendary Kevin Rooney after the 2019 season is finally here. The L.A. Times and L.A. Daily News disagree about where to start the Knights, but there’s no question they’ll play a tough schedule against their Mission League rivals. The first game against Loyola will tell a lot. Reports are that the coaches are quite high on sophomore QB JaVance Johnson.

37. Los Alamitos 4-7
First Game: Fri. March 19 vs. Corona del Mar (Newport Beach).
Both the L.A. Times and OC Register are starting out the Griffins in the top 15 and top eight of their rankings. They also are playing Corona del Mar right off the bat and will get to play Edison of Huntington Beach. Sophomore QB Malachi Nelson played as a freshman and will be looking to further enhance his reputation as one of the top Class of 2023 QBs not just in California but for the nation.

Grace Brethren head coach Josh Henderson holds CIF D2-AA state title trophy in 2018. Photo: Mark Tennis.

38. Grace Brethren (Simi Valley) 12-2
First Game: April 3 at Calabasas.
It’ll be a strange spring season at Grace due to the recent announcement that head coach Josh Henderson and the school mutually agreed to part ways after the current school year ends. Top running back Julien Stokes also just decided opt out of the spring, but the team will still have quarterback Mikey Zele, who started as a freshman in the 2017 CIF D2-A state final (Grace lost) and then as a sophomore in the 2018 CIF D2-AA state final (Grace won).

39. Cosumnes Oaks (Elk Grove) 8-4
First Game: Fri. March 19 at Elk Grove.
This is the program that coming into the fall of 2019 was looking to make waves with an ambitious schedule that included setting up a game vs. superpower Mater Dei of Santa Ana. None of that happened, but the players are all on hand and that’s why the Wolfpack are No. 4 to start out by the Sacramento Bee. QB Anthony Grigsby Jr. passed for 2,713 yards and 30 TDs in 2019 as a junior and also rushed for 360 yards and three scores. The defense has LB Moses Oladejo, who has signed with Cal.

40. Mater Dei Catholic (Chula Vista) 7-5
First Game: Fri. March 12 vs. Olympian (Chula Vista).
The Crusaders have got something brewing in the south part of San Diego County. They will get to play Helix this spring to show what they’ve got, too. The offense will have returning standout Trevor Appelman at quarterback, while the defense will have sophomore LB Trey Edwards, who was recently ranked as the top linebacker prospect nationally for the Class of 2023 by at least one recruiting service.

41. Clovis 7-5
First Game: Thurs. March 18 vs. Central (Fresno).
Head coach Rich Hammond’s team has a chance to make big noise in the CIF Central Section right away and sure looks like on of the best in that section. Junior RB Tristan Risley made a name for himself as a sophomore with 1,338 yards rushing in nine games. Clovis also has a highly-regarded junior QB in Nate Johnson, who has garnered recruiting attention from several Pac-12 colleges.

42. San Ramon Valley (Danville) 7-4
First Game: Sat. March 13 at Las Lomas (Walnut Creek).
The Wolves appear in all of the NorCal and Bay Area rankings we’ve seen thus far and project to be one of the region’s top teams (and with a strong spring schedule as well). The team’s top returnee is San Diego State-bound J.P. Murphy (TE/DE) plus there’s Kyle Ecker up front (6-5, 255), a returning QB (junior Jack Quigley (1,500 yards passing as a sophomore) and junior LB Tanner Salisbury (getting D1 offers).

43. Edison (Huntington Beach) 8-4
First Game: Fri. March 12 vs. Trabuco Hills (Mission Viejo).
QB Braeden Broyles passed for 1,900 yards and 21 TDs for the Chargers back in the fall of 2019 and will lead a team that should be in the thick of it against Corona del Mar, Los Al and others on its schedule. The defense also looks strong with LB Ryan Easterday and DB Nico Brown.

44. Marin Catholic (Kentfield) 11-2
First Game: Sat. March 13 vs. Novato.
The only question about the Wildcats is their schedule, which currently only shows two games for the spring. Hopefully, more can be done. On the field, the lineup on paper is one of the best that head coach Mazi Moayed has ever had with junior QB Michael Ingrassia and UC Davis-bound senior RB Mateo Perez (2,024 yards and 35 TDs in 2019).

45. St. Bernard (Playa del Rey) 9-3
First Game: Fri. March 19 at Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth).
It’s hard to know where to put the Vikings as they start playing under former Narbonne head coach Manny Douglas. Their schedule still seems like it’s in flux, but there are games against Loyola of Los Angeles and Sierra Canyon. Some of the players that have headed over to the school by the L.A. airport have included preseason all-state selection Larry Gooden-Turner and Jaylen Thompson (both juniors).

Brandon Rose of Murrieta Valley will be throwing passes this season to sophomore WR Tiger Bachmeier, younger brother of record-breaking QB Hank Bachmeier, who also went to Murrieta Valley. Photo:

46. Murrieta Valley (Murrieta) 8-3
First Game: Fri. March 19 vs. Temecula Valley (Temecula).
Looking for a No. 2 team from the Inland Empire after Corona Centennial was quite a challenge. Both Upland and Rancho Cucamonga lost a ton of players to graduation while Rancho Verde of Moreno Valley lost its quarterback, A.J. Duffy, to IMG Academy in Florida. Murrieta Valley ended up as our choice. The Nighthawks have an impressive group of returnees, led by junior QB Brandon Rose. He passed for 3,087 yards in 2019 wit 30 TDs and just four picks and he rushed for almost 400 yards and six scores.

47. Valencia 8-3
First Game: Fri. March 19 at West Ranch (Valencia).
One of the more quiet success stories in SoCal prep football is the Vikings and their streak of winning Foothill League titles. That’s not a weak league, either, with historically great programs like Hart of Newhall and Canyon of Canyon Country. Valencia has won 11 straight titles in that league and already is in the all-time state records for that category. Junior QB Tyler Voss is one of the team’s players to watch. This ranking also reflects where the Vikings have landed in preseason local/regional rankings.

48. Torrey Pines (San Diego) 6-6
First Game: Fri. March 12 at Cathedral Catholic (San Diego).
We’ll go with the Falcons for one of our last spots in the preseason top 50 since head coach Ron Gladnick should have one of his better squads and his players will be no doubt wanting to give him some great memories after he did such an effective job helping all of the players and teams in the state to even have a spring season. LB Marco Notarainni (Boise State) should be one of the top players.

49. Lincoln (Stockton) 9-2
First Game: Fri. March 19 vs. Tracy.
This team should be super-exciting to watch both this spring and in the fall since the 2019 fall team was led by freshman QB Kenyon Nelson. The Trojans also have almost all of their line back to block for junior RB Jonah Coleman. He’s one of the best in Northern California and recently committed to Arizona. The final game against St. Mary’s of Stockton should be especially fun.

50. Paraclete (Lancaster) 6-5
First Game: Sat. March 20 at Oaks Christian (Westlake Village).
Head coach Dean Harrington’s club gets to start out against the No. 20 Lions and also will get to play Sierra Canyon. Senior running back Amir Bankhead has been on our radar since his freshman season but has battled injuries. We’ll be rooting for him to take advantage of this short season. The Spirits also have another running back, Jalen Williams, headed to Fresno State.

(Alphabetical order)

Aquinas (San Bernardino) 13-3
Birmingham (Lake Balboa) 8-5
Bullard (Fresno) 9-3
Calabasas 7-3*
Carlsbad 10-2
Chaminade (West Hills) 7-6*
Citrus Valley (Redlands) 10-2
Culver City 12-1
El Camino (Oceanside) 9-7
Elk Grove 10-5
Half Moon Bay 10-1
Inderkum (Sacramento) 11-1
Menlo-Atherton (Atherton) 7-4
Monte Vista (Danville) 8-4
Rancho Cucamonga 10-3
San Juan Hills (SJ Capistrano) 11-4
San Joaquin Memorial (Fresno) 10-2
St. Francis (Mountain View) 4-7
Upland 8-4
Vista Murrieta (Murrieta) 8-4

Mark Tennis is the co-founder and publisher of He can be reached at Don’t forget to follow Mark on the Cal-Hi Sports Twitter handle: @CalHiSports

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  1. Gregory Pedemonte
    Posted March 16, 2021 at 8:56 am | Permalink

    Where is McClymonds of Oakland? A four time Norcal champ, three time state champion and they are not in the top fifty?

    • Mark Tennis
      Posted March 16, 2021 at 9:37 am | Permalink

      Obviously, saw them play Pacifica and only saw one or two key returnees. Mostly seniors last season.

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